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Rockwood Fifth Wheel Purchase Process
We ended up buying our new 2023 Rockwood Fifth Wheel 2622RK from a dealer in Northern Indiana near the manufacturer. Right from the beginning you save the delivery fee and the dealer pricing was some of the best I could find. I am not going to name the dealer as they don’t produce the unit. I see several stories bashing dealers but most issues stem from the manufacturer. I spent almost a year researching this unit and here is why we went with the 2023 Rockwood 2622RK.
We had an appointment for the walk thru our 2023 Rockwood Fifth Wheel on Friday 5/5/2023 at 12:30. The buying process was easy and the tech that preps your unit is the one that gives you a one hour walk through to go over the operation of the unit. When we arrived the unit was pulled into one of its service bays all open and ready for us to tour. The unit was clean and during the walk thru we only identified one piece of trim around the slide facia that was loose and repaired as we waited.
After the walk thru I went in to finalize the paperwork and pay for the unit. When done I went back to the bay and the tech went over the hitching procedures and got us hooked up. They had moved our prior travel trailer out of the way so we could pull the 2023 Rockwood Fifth Wheel next to it so we could transfer our belongings.
We hit the road and stayed at a nearby Indiana State park until Sunday to test everything out and all seemed well. The only thing I noticed was some water droplets on the floor as you came up the steps near the bedroom but thought maybe my wife had done this transferring items and thought no more of it.
The Ride Home and 2023 Rockwood Fifth Wheel Issue Number 1
We stopped just West of Indianapolis for fuel and while filling up I always open up our RV to make sure nothing has shifted in transit. Everything was in place but again I found water droplets in the same location. This time I looked up and I could see water sloshing around in the light fixture overhead. We probably didn’t notice this camping as the leveling jacks were down limiting movement.
I went back to the truck to let Anna know what I had found and look for my cell phone so I could get pictures. By the time I had gotten back in the unit Anna had removed the light fixture cover and there was a puddle of water in it. You could also see the metal of the light fixture was discolored from the water so I don’t think this was the first time the leak had occurred.
Rest of the drive home
We continued on upset over what we had just found. Previously we had our 2016 Keystone Premier 30 RIPR since it was new without any work done other than routine maintenance like new batteries, bearing pack, and new tires. We ran into some severe thunderstorms coming across Illinois and I was impressed how well the unit handled in the wind compared to our travel trailer.
At home we unhitched and unloaded the trailer thinking this may be a minor repair and would be happy if this was it.
First Communication With Dealer.
I sent an email to the dealer where we bought the Rockwood fifth wheel to start the communication as I had found several Forest River products with the Teton WiFi Ranger with a cracked base that allowed water intrusion thinking this was the issue because the antenna is mounted directly above the light fixture and thought this may be the culprit.
The dealer replied back on Monday that this had been a problem in previous years but the Teton had been redesigned to resolve the issue and suggested that it could be a sealant issue on the Max Fan mounted in the bathroom and the water ran down the ceiling to the light fixture.
I had also seen this issue on the internet as a possibility. The Max Fan has four plastic brackets that come up from the shrouds base that has a slot in it that you place pins through to keep the cover in place. It seems several of these did not get sealant into the slotted area allowing a path for water to get in. My only issue with the dealer is if this is a know issue why would they not check this prior to delivery. I was told that part of the PDI was to inspect the roof sealant and touch up as needed.
I don’t have my 10′ ladder at home and could not see above the roofline on a 6′ so I went inside to remove the inner fan shroud and light fixture. There was water staining around the screw hole closest to the fan. I could not see any water marks around the inside of the fan but with the bonded roof you can barely see any wood with the foam surrounding the cutout.
2nd Rockwood Fifth Wheel Issue Found and Much Worse
After looking for the leak I went back to close up the refrigerator which we had left open to dry after our trip. I then noticed a puddle of water sitting on the rear countertop. It extended from the rear wall underneath the rear passenger window and ran our around the sink almost to the edge of the countertop. You could also see the tile looking backsplash was bowed out between the two windows. The adhesion had failed most likely due to moisture and was releasing from the wall.
I got the ladder and inspected the seals around the exterior of the two rear windows but could not see anything other than there are areas around the perimeter where the lip of the frame is away from the exterior wall where I could not see the seal which could have been a bad vantage point because I couldn’t position my ladder close enough.
I went inside and check the screws around the frame as I believe it is a clamshell design where the screws pull the inner and out frame tight to make the seal. Everything seems tight so I am not sure where the issue lies.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Heading Back to Indiana?
I sent another email to the dealer service department to notify them of the second issue and provide pictures of all and am awaiting their response. I am hoping to leave early Friday to return the unit to discuss my options. We have a trip planned beginning 5/18 in Southern Indiana and one for Memorial Day Weekend in Iowa which may have to be cancelled at this point.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 5/9/2023
After submitting information to the dealer they said they wanted the Rockwood fifth wheel returned. Originally they were going to suggest we go to a local dealer to address the issue of the water dripping in the light but after seeing the water coming in the rear of the camper they said, “With all this going on, we would feel better if we could make sure there are no underlying issues that will appear in the future. We would like the camper back at our site to make needed repairs and inspect for further damage.” They then offered to have a driver meet me in Terre Haute Indiana which is a 2 1/2 hour trip vs 7 hours. So far the dealer seems to want to make this right.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 5/10/2023
We were contacted by the dealer again asking us if there were any other issues we would like addressed while the unit was at their facility. After two trips on the road now, we had a couple pieces of trim that seemed to be coming loose. One was in a corner just over the wardrobe slide out and the other was the trim across the cabinets at the head of our bed where it meets the ceiling.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 5/20/2023
The dealer found that water was leaking around the antenna wire into the light fixture in the hallway. The good news is, it is an access point for the antenna which is directly above and the water trailed down the wire directly into the fixture without getting on the surrounding wood.
They could not find a leak in the rear of the trailer. They setup hoses running on the roof and rear windows but no leak. They also removed the window frame and said there was no evidence of moisture but wanted to keep the Rockwood fifth wheel Friday night because it was going to rain all night. I was at the dealer Saturday morning and no evidence of water. They also fixed the trim in the bedroom. The dealer would have brought the trailer back half way to meet me but we had a trip planned for the upcoming weekend so I did not want to wait.
I started to reload the Rockwood fifth wheel on Sunday and I did find the microwave was hanging down after the return home as the mounting bolts that come from the cabinet above had come loose. I tightened and will monitor to see if I need to do something different. We are taking it out for Memorial Day and hopefully no more issues.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 5/28/2023
We took the Rockwood fifth wheel out for five days over Memorial Day Weekend. All seemed to go well until we fired up both the air conditioners. Both started OK but we started hearing a loud buzzing noise coming from the bedroom unit that was very loud inside and very noticeable outside. The unit is a Coleman Mach 8.
I sent an email to the dealer and they asked that I first pull the shroud and verify the mounting bolts are tight and then pull the shroud from the roof to verify if the fan shaft is bent. We put the unit in storage as soon as we came back from the trip but I will be taking it out next weekend as I ordered the JT Strongarm kit and want to get it installed.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 6/3/2023
I brought the unit home for the weekend to diagnose the front A/C and install the JT Strongarm kit onto the leveling system. I took the inner cover off of the A/C and the first thing I noticed was there is an inner diverter that was missing a screw and the plastic was hanging down so this could have been one source of the sound/vibration. I did check the mounting screws and found they weren’t excessively loose but I was able to get 3 or 4 full turns without much force using a nut driver. I reassembled everything and let the unit run for about an hour without the noise happening again. Later I find that the mounts were not the issue.
We did get the JT Strong Arm kit installed and what a difference. I may move the two on the back jacks to extend further to the middle of the camper as we still get a little bit of side to side motion in the rear of the coach.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 6/9/2023
I took the coach to Rend Lake as it is nearby so I could test out everything on a 50 amp connection. After a couple of hours the front AC begins making the noise again. I figure out that the coil is freezing when the unit switches to low fan. When it does, I switch the compressor off and run on high fan and a large amount of water comes running off the roof as the coil thaws back out. I take the inner cover off and find the thermistor is in the right place but I can’t probe for resistance as this unit has the plugs on the top of the control box which means it would need to be accessed from the roof. We have two AC’s so I figure I will wait till the end of the camping season to get it in for repair.
I also find that the microwave has come loose again where it attaches to the cabinet. I find that the washers they use have a hole so large that the screw head almost can go through them. I head to a local Lowe’s and purchase the right size fender washers and locking washers and install. This should do the trick now.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 6/30/2023
We head to a State Park near Eureka Springs Arkansas and when we arrive we find that water has began dripping from the valve on the toilet around the pedal assembly. It only drips while the pedal is depressed so this will be another issue to address this fall. We travel to Annapolis Missouri on 7/4 and go through a heavy downpour for about 30 minutes and find no signs of water in the coach.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/9/2023
We travel to Sam A. Baker State Park in Southeastern Missouri. We end up traveling about 1.5 hours in light to moderate rain on our way. Upon entering the coach I find water on the countertop again. About 30 minutes later when I go in to finish setting up, I find water droplets on the floor under the rear AC. I emailed my dealer to let them know we still have a leak issue and they tell me to return it to them as soon as it is convenient.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/10/2023
Today we noticed the panel has begun bowing out behind the sofa. It continues to get worse eventually pulling the seam tape away from the wall. I pull out the sofa so I can take a look behind it for water and find that the hinges on the pullout don’t have any nuts installed and are just sitting loose on the frame.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/11/2023
My brother was in the site next to us and while outside talking we notice that the water from the air conditioner is running out from behind the gutter trim on the coach. From below it looks like the butyl tape (white material between the trim and the wall) ends several inches short from the end of the trim and looks to be done the same way on all four corners. We also find what looks like a large metal shaving embedded in the sealant where the trim meets the rubber roof.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/12/2023
We had light to moderate rain during the morning hours. At 7:43 we notice the rear AC has a drip coming from the cold air dump. By 8:42 there is quite a bit more water coming in through the AC. Note: at this time there is no water present on the rear countertops.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/13/2023
The forecast called for heavy rain from the evening until the early morning hours so I decide to stay up to see if I can figure out where the water is coming from. The heavy rain begins at 11:30 pm and ends at 12:18 am with no signs of leaks.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/14/2023
The heavy rain begins again at 1:30 am and at 1:40 am I begin seeing water weeping out of the wall around a rear window. It continued to leak for a couple of hours and then stopped as the rain slowed down. I pulled the screen to verify there was no water coming between the glass to frame seals as you can see in the video below. During this heavy rain (4+ inches), no water came from the rear AC. I did pull a couple of drawers at the rear and found water was trailing down a wire that came out of the rear wall and was puddling up below the cabinets and where the floor meets the rear wall.
That morning we packed up to return home. We stopped about an hour into the trip for a break and when we went into the coach, we again found water on the rear countertop and well as water on the floor, dinette, and slide floor that had shook loose during travel from the rear AC. I assume this means that pockets of water were still trapped in the ceiling and found their way out as we traveled down the road.
When we get home that day I discover that the fireplace has began moving away from the wall on the left side while the right is still flat against the stone paneling.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/15/2023
I put together a PowerPoint with the timeline information as well as pictures and videos and send to the dealer. I also made the decision to reach out to Rockwood as I feel there are enough issues now that this should become a factory issue. They respond the next day to let me know that they were in contact with my dealer and would be in communication with each other once I return it. They are just minutes from the factory and said they could take it to the factory to do additional things if needed. They end with, “Thank you for reaching out. Have a good day and I will be in touch!!!” Maybe I am petty, but I was at least hoping for a “We are sorry you are experiencing issues with our product”.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 8/18/2023
I leave at 4:30 am to return the coach to the dealer and arrive at their site at 2 pm their time. Upon arriving I go inside to let the service manager know I am there and he askes me to drop the unit in the lot. I asked if someone could walk with me to review the issues so later a tech comes out as I am unhitching. When we walk up to the front I find another issue that happened on the way. The light cover for the hitching light must have fallen off on my way up there. As we entered the coach, I notice that the fireplace has moved a couple inches and is now away from the wall on both sides. I forgot to take a picture as we walked through. The tech made a list of all the issues and I headed out awaiting word of how they will resolve the issues.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Updated 9/1/2023
Rockwood sent a couple people to the dealer to test for leaks but could not find any. Now they are taking back to Rockwood to try in the rain booth. Here is the update from my dealer:
“Rockwood was here and looked at it and we hooked it up to our seal tech machine. With the seal tech machine, no leaks were found. Currently working with Rockwood to take back and have them put in there rain booth for several hours and see if they can find it there.”
I received an email later in the afternoon from Rockwood:
Sorry I was out of the office earlier.
“I know the camper was at Wana and our service team was a month out but I know we have been working to get your camper here. I will be able to update you better on Tuesday when the whole team is in after the holiday weekend.”
Looks like it will another 2-4 weeks before it goes into the booth to figure this out. It’s scary that we could have so much water coming into the coach and they are unable to figure out how.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 9/8/2023
I contacted Rockwood this morning for an update. Here is their response:
My Service Manager and myself are taking it to the Rain Bay at our main campus Monday to see if we can find where the water is coming in.
We have pressure tested it and looked at everything and can not replicate anything so we are still looking.
I will keep you posted. 😊”
Please note that the dealer and Rockwood both used the seal tech machine to test for leaks and could not find a leak with it. My father had a fifth wheel that was checked twice with this machine and found nothing. Later it was found that a bedroom window was leaking undetected and they had to have part of the wall replaced due to water damage. Seems like this is not a full proof test.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 9/15/2023
I contacted Rockwood this morning for an update:
“Let me get with my service department, we found water after 30 minutes of running it in the rain bay but they were brining it back to the shop to see if any more appeared after letting it sit for a day. I will run out there today and see what they found.”
Note: They have not responded back each time they say they will unless I email them and ask for information.
Rockwood Fifth Wheel Update 9/21/2023
I got a call from the dealer to give me a quick update. They did find there was a leak at the back window after all (it was returned for this 1 week after purchase) and the problem there was resolved. There was a rivet in the window frame that hung up on the fiberglass during the install which kept the frame from tightening down on the seal completely. It was running into the window and also getting behind the backsplash which is how it got below the countertop and on the floor in the rear cabinets.
He also stated that they hadn’t figured out how the rear AC was leaking so I gave Rockwood a call. I told them that the rear AC didn’t leak during all rains and that it would probably have to be in the rain booth for more than 20 minutes. She told me they could not tie up the booth with our unit at which point I started to get agitated which she could tell so she put me on the phone with one of the service techs.
I talked with them for a while and he was very knowlegable. He said the information I gave him would lead him to look at a couple of other items as he felt the roof seal was not the issue. He also wanted to go over all the other issues we had with the coach to make sure all the items were addressed.
42 days since fifth wheel returned for service.